Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a pro-liberty student organization, has filed a federal lawsuit against University of California-Berkeley officials for refusing to officially recognize a student chapter on campus. Attorneys representing YAL contend that the school’s decision explicitly discriminates against YAL on the basis of its pro-liberty views.
YAL is a national network of 900 college chapters who share a mutual respect for freedom, the U.S. Constitution, and the natural rights of life, liberty, and property. YAL aims to promote and defend the principles of liberty––such as the principle of open discourse and free speech.
“Because UC-Berkeley has excluded Young Americans for Liberty from Registered Student Organization status and all the benefits that accompany it, the group cannot reserve space, invite speakers, or access the pool of funds their tuition covers,” according to a press release from the organization.
"It is absurd to think that other Berkeley groups are lighting the campus on fire and throwing rocks through windows, but YAL's efforts to peaceably promote the message of liberty are being shunned by university administrators. This incident is exactly why Young Americans for Liberty launched the national Fight for Free Speech campaign. All students, regardless of ideology, should be guaranteed their First Amendment right to Free Speech," said Cliff Maloney President of YAL.
“Public universities are supposed to be a ‘marketplace of ideas’ for students, but that can’t happen when administrators are allowed to pick and choose which student organizations will be recognized based on the students’ views,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton. “By leaving decisions on whether a student group is ‘too similar’ to another club in the hands of a university official who isn’t required to follow any viewpoint-neutral standards, UC-Berkeley has allowed for unconstitutional discrimination.”
Michael L. Renberg of the Fresno law firm Parichan, Renberg & Crossman is serving as local counsel in the case, Young Americans for Liberty at University of California, Berkeley v. Napolitano, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing YAL at large.